Basically a Fucking Asshole: an iChat Interview With Gavin McInnes, Founder of Vice Magazine
When I first met Gavin McInnes, we went to 80s night at Don Hills. We challenged each other to a dance off and before I knew it, our friends had abandoned us and it was just Gavin and I, alone on the dance floor, sweating and looking like America’s Next Top Dancers. He hailed a cab and opened the door for me to get in first. He tried to French me and I said no. I was in love with him immediately.
It wasn’t a bf/gf kind of love though. Gavin was my Dr. Cox and I was his Jon Dorian (see “Scrubs”). I was still in college but all I wanted to do was write for Vice magazine. It was because everything that Gavin wrote inspired me. I wanted to be him, but I couldn’t be him, so I opted for the next best thing, which was to be his intern.
During my internship at Vice Gavin didn’t tell me what to do really. His whole approach to work at the time was to throw me in some sort of hole and watch me claw my way out. If I did that, I was rewarded with more holes to fall into. If I didn’t, I was ignored. My balls were busted on a daily basis and I never felt more alive in my entire life.
This is how I’ve continued to approach all my projects, with Gavin or not. When I do something I’m proud of, I tell Gavin, and he nods. When I have a question, he answers it bluntly. His approval still means everything to me, and he knows this. Even if I get mad at him, disagree with what he says, or rarely see him; Gavin will always be my favorite writer. The more I tell him this, the less he wants to hang out with me. And this is how our friendship works. He pisses me off like no one else in this world and I love him with that same amount of passion. He’s my family.
Gavin has 2,683 followers on Twitter. You should follow him, even though I have unfollowed/refollowed him numerous times. I also, interestingly, have more followers than him. How do you like them apples Gav? (Just kidding, don’t be mad at me.) Here’s an interview with the guy who is basically a fucking asshole. We did it over iChat.
LA: My first question is: do you love me like a sister, a daughter, a BFF, a partner in crime, or a distant cousin?
GM: Baby sister.
LA: Do you claim to have invented “hipsters”?
LA: Do you think Hipsters are cool or passé now? Or rather, what do you think of that NYmag article?
GM: I fucking hated that thing. What a pile of bullshit. It reminded me of those Mickey Mouse courses in college where you were allowed to write a dissertation on skateboarding or mods or something. There’s almost always an agenda with these Hipster pieces and it’s usually, “Fuck the young and the beautiful. They’re not that great.” I think the guy who wrote that piece is a disgruntled nerd. And the racism angle is insane. I think people use that because it’s such a taboo, people don’t want to discredit the accusation. Like if you called someone a communist during McCarthyism. Everyone would walk away backwards saying, “Okay, okay, I agree with you. Calm down. Don’t hurt me. Don’t send the Good Squad after me.”
LA: What are you currently working on?
GM: Death of Cool book, in stores next fall.
LA: How come you never call me to hang out?
GM: Who hangs out with their baby sister?
LA: Cool older brothers do
GM: I get one or two nights out a week. I want to talk to Tony Barber about politics and argue about who started punk.
LA: Who started punk?
GM: Well, it’s a LONG STORY. It wasn’t the Ramones. When they played London the Clash already had a dozen songs and The Sex Pistols were already formed. I’d argue that the early CBGB scene was avante garde rock, not punk.
LA: I’d argue that the conversation is snoozetastic
GM: Exactly. But anyway NYC invented the word but real punk was an extension of all those glam bands and David Bowie and shit. That was a British scene. We do that for maybe an hour after bitching about Lefties, and then we get into the origin of mods.
GM: It’s weird though because [Tony Barber’s] a Socialist who hates big business. But he also agrees with me that the government is useless at everything. Like Penny’s theories about how the government is controlling everything and the “military industrial complex” is bullshit. The White House is just a huge DMV. They are all totally lost and incompetent.
LA: Who is someone who inspires you? Or a few people?
GM: Penny and Gee inspire me. [From Crass-Ed]. In comedy there’s a lot. Jon Glaser is so funny it’s almost art. Delocated is the perfect show. David Cross is also a consistently funny and prolific motherfucker. Tina Fey of course. I don’t know. I’d have to break it up into categories.
LA: Favorite writer?
GM: I think Jim Goad is the best writer of our generation. You know who’s surprisingly good? Ralph Steadman.
LA: Who is that?
GM: He did all of Hunter S Thompson’s illustration work. He’s not a writer. Steve Martin isn’t a writer either but he’s fucking got it. Chris Nieratko has it. David Sedaris is the funniest writer alive today.
LA: Do you think I’m a good writer?
GM: These questions are too broad. I could go on for days about who turns my crank writing wise.
LA: But do you think I’m a good writer?
GM: Yep. I like when you keep it real girly and silly. Like White Lightning steez.
LA: A lot of people don’t know that you are a very talented cartoonist/illustrator… would you like to revisit this someday?
GM: Yeah I can draw. So can Sophie [Gavin's 4-year-old daughter]. My grandfather was a painter and my mom does it as a hobby. I think it’s genetic.
LA: I think it would be great for you to do a graphic novel about your family. Just saying.
GM: Well, I got a great comic book in me. Celebrity Encounters. I’ve met dozens and dozens over the years and it almost always goes bad. Would be funny to do it as a self-effacing Joe Matt / Chester Brown type thing. But cartooning is the worst bang for your buck as far as story telling goes. A page takes about ten hours. I could do five sketches in that time.
LA: Do you notice your influence in my writing?
GM: Sure but it’s not like you’re copying me. I think I gave you the confidence to write “stoops” and be yourself, even if it’s grammatically incorrect. I think that was a big part of Vice’s influence in the world of media.
“Be an idiot.”
“Be an asshole.”
LA: You know that I love you like a BFF/idol/scary dad right?
GM: Yep, You said I’m the guy from that doctor show which sounds accurate.
LA: What are some of your current hobbies? I’ve noticed you’ve become a bit of a hobbyist lately…
LA: What’s with the bench you made and everything?
GM: I built a workshop and have been making shit with that. I’m into handyman shit. And landscaping. And I bought a guitar but with kids you don’t really have any time by yourself. And when they do finally go to bed, you’re so fucking exhausted you just lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling.
LA: Do you still do boxing?
GM: Yes, going after this. I call it “Irish Therapy.”
I’m not a tough guy or a good fighter at all. It’s just a great way to work out that’s not boring. It’s also good for your mental health. If you have an Irish or Scottish last name you should definitely do it. We have a rage in us that needs to get out and whiskey makes it worse.
LA: That’s a good ending. This is perfect; it will probably get you a lot of Twitter followers.
GM: Did you see the zinger I did the other day? I don’t think I’ll ever top it.
“My only problem with women breastfeeding in public is they never wink back.” It’s kind of the perfect joke because it’s a bait and switch
LA: Yes I did see it. It was a good one.
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